RadWagon electric cargo bike could be the ticket to low-car living
The latest offering from ebike company Rad Power Bikes has a 350 lb capacity and a large rear deck, delivering cargo bike performance in a normal-sized bicycle.
As far as eco-friendly habits go, adopting a low-car or car-free lifestyle is high on the list of feasible and effective actions that we can take, but transitioning over to bike-centric transportation poses a number of challenges, many of which may quickly put off even the most well-intentioned people.
One of those challenges is the inconvenience of hauling anything larger than a personal bag, such as when going grocery shopping or running errands, and another is the very real human 'range anxiety' that can strike when faced with a lengthy ride on a day of bad weather, low energy, or just plain laziness (speaking from personal experience here).
Of course, there are a number of excellent and affordable bike racks, panniers, and trailers on the market, all of which can make hauling stuff much easier on a bicycle, and there's coffee and a good swift kick in the rear to take care of the laziness issue, but one possible solution to both of those challenges could be an electric cargo bike. If the words 'cargo bike' make you think of a large and unwieldy bicycle that would be overkill for most personal uses, and the words 'electric cargo bike' give you a pain in the wallet just thinking about it, then you may want to take a look at Rad Power Bikes' newest model, which promises to offer a practical and affordable daily ride that will also carry your gear.
I covered the launch of the company's RadRover electric fat bike back in May, which ultimately raised more than $320,000 in crowdfunding, and now Rad Power is back with a bike that could have a much wider appeal than its original offering. The RadWagon, which the company describes as the "ultimate electric cargo bike," is not your brother's cargo bike, in the sense that it's not a full-on conventional cargo bike that could pull double-duty hauling massive amounts of materials, but is instead not much bigger than a standard bicycle (80"/203cm total length).
The RadWagon sports a 750 W electric drive system that can ease the physical side of pedaling a bike carrying 350 pounds (159 kg) of cargo (including the rider), offering a top speed of 20 mph/32 kph and a range of up to 50 miles (80 km) per charge. The bike can be ridden with electric pedal-assist for a longer range, or in full electric mode, for when speed and convenience are the priority. The bike is powered by a 48V 11.6Ah Samsung Li-Ion battery pack, which takes about 4-6 hours to fully recharge using the included 2A charger (can be used with both 110V and 220V outlets).
A 28" rear cargo deck and two running boards can be used to haul plenty of stuff, or double as a seat for an extra rider, the front and rear fenders keep the road grime off, and the integrated LED headlight (200 lumen) and taillight help increase visibility and safety. An LCD dashboard on the RadWagon keeps the rider informed about speed, miles traveled, and battery life, and front and rear disc brakes offer great stopping power (which can be a big concern when traveling at speed while fully loaded).
According to the FAQ page on the company's site, the steel frame is close in size to a standard 17" bike frame, runs standard 26" tires, the battery pack can be locked to the bike, and the entire rig weighs in at 70.8 pounds (32 kg). The RadWagon comes with a 1-year warranty
Here's a marketing video for the RadWagon, which is admittedly short on details and long on action shots:
And here's what ElectricBikeReview thinks about it:
"The RadWagon handles just like a standard sized bike, yet can handle big cargo loads, hauls from the grocery store, and your most valuable cargo. What makes the RadWagon special is the size, which is not too big and not to small, so you get all the benefit of a cargo bike without the challenges associated with larger and heavier options. Stylish, safe, and comfortable, the RadWagon lets you leave your car in the garage and get biking!" - Rad Power Bikes
One of the highlights of this electric cargo bike, other than its hauling capacity and relatively small size, is its remarkably low price. Rad Power Bikes is listing the bike's full retail price at $1699 USD, with a sale price of $1499 right now, and the company is offering an additional $100 off the price if they can sell at least 70 of them by September 15th, bringing the price down to just $1399 each. The company expects to start shipping the RadWagon in October of this year, and is available in any color you want, as long as you want orange.
For more information see the Rad Power Bikes website.